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UIPM 2023 Pentathlon World Championships: Egypt double up with Women’s and Men’s Relay gold

Modern Pentathlon

Four continents were represented on the podium as a prolific Egypt team began the medal rush at the UIPM 2023 Pentathlon and Laser Run Championships with a double Relay triumph.

In a pulsating finish to the first day of Modern Pentathlon Finals in the historic city of Bath (GBR), Moutaz Mohamed and Ahmed Hamed (EGY) held on for Men’s Relay gold to back up victory for their female compatriots earlier in the day. In an exciting Laser Run battle, the pedigree of world No.9 Balazs Szep alongside Gergely Regos helped Hungary to silver with bronze going to the formidable Korea duo of Changwan Seo and Jihun Lee. The result which meant the day’s medals were shared among five nations with a truly global spread.

Earlier, Amira Kandil and Malak Ismail (EGY) lived up to their billing as they claimed the Championships’ first gold medal, topping the podium in the Women’s Relay after seeing off a strong challenge from Beatrice Mercuri and Aurora Tognetti of Italy. With so many of the stars of the sport gathered this week, it was Tokyo 2020 Olympians Mayan Oliver and Mariana Arceo of Mexico who claimed bronze. 

With 196 athletes from 39 countries registering for UIPM’s flagship competition, the attention will rapidly switch to the individual competitions from tomorrow, where global glory but also precious Olympic qualification places are at stake. With up to three quota places for Paris 2024 on the line for each gender, the women will get things underway with their Qualification round, followed by the Men’s Qualification on Thursday. 

Women’s Relay

With the combination of Ismail and Kandil, Egypt boasted a dynamic and, for the rest of the field, daunting team. Ismail is world No.22 and last month claimed World U19 gold in Istanbul (TUR) while Kandil had claimed gold in this same event at the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Championships in Alexandria (EGY) alongside Haydy Morsy (EGY).

Egypt (Ismail/Kandil) duly laid down a marker in Fencing by racking up 28 victories in the Ranking Round and tacking on four more points in the Fencing Bonus Round. That was enough to give them an early three-point lead over Mexico (Oliver/Arceo) with the talented duo of Seungmin Seong and Sehee Kim (KOR) a point further back. 

However, the Korean challenge would be short-lived as they failed to negotiate the Riding discipline. Switzerland (Chloe Vaucher & Lea Egloff) were the best performers on horseback, claiming 293 points with China (Xiuting Zhong & Linzhi Xie) next best. 

The home challenge got going in the pool when Great Britain (Gina Speakman & Alexandra Bousfield) produced a super swim, clocking 2min 02.37sec, second-fastest of the day just behind Japan (Kanae Umemura & Hana Shibata). With the leaderboard tightening up, Egypt (Ismail/Kandil) were in hot pursuit in 2:03.33 and Italy (Mercuri/Tognetti) 0.5sec back. 

That meant Egypt (Ismail/Kandil) would begin the Laser Run in front but with a mere 2sec head start on Italy (Mercuri/Tognetti). China (Zhong/Xie) were 21sec back and Mexico (Oliver/Arceo) a further 3sec behind the leaders.

Egypt (Ismail/Kandil) showed all of their class to hang on for the week’s first gold in 13:33.90 with the Italians (Mercuri/Tognetti) crossing the line six seconds later and Mexico (Oliver/Arceo) taking bronze thanks to a solid run of 13:29.60. Korea (Seong/Kim) were left to wonder what might have been as they produced a scorching Laser Run time of 13:19.70.

Men’s Relay

With 14 nations taking part in the Men’s competition, the action was even more hectic. The Ukraine duo (Kyrym Shekhmametyev & Dmytro Kirpulyanskyy) kept their heads to grab an early lead as they racked up the best score in the Fencing Ranking Round with 19 victories. That was one better than Korea (Seo/Lee) with Hungary (Regos/Szep) claiming 15 victories but adding an impressive eight points in the Fencing Bonus Round. Germany (Marvin Dogue & Dominik Olejarz) were equally prolific in the Bonus Round. 

In an impressive Riding discipline, it was Czech Republic (Matous Tuma & Filip Houska) who excelled as the day’s only top scorers in Riding. However Egypt (Mohamed/Hamed) weren’t far behind with Chinese Taipei (Hsiang Hu & Yi Hu) also impressing with 294 points. Germany (Dogue/Olejarz) suffered misfortune and were eliminated.

In the pool, Chinese Taipei (Hu/Hu) stepped things up another notch scorching to the best time in 1:49.77 fully two second clear of Egypt (Mohamed/Hamed) who were next best with Korea (Seo/Lee) in hot pursuit.

With so little separating the frontrunners it was Ukraine (Shekhmametyev/Kirpulyanskyy) who started the Laser Run with the narrowest lead of just 1sec over Egypt (Mohamed/Hamed) with Korea (Seo/Lee) 6sec further back. The Czechs (Tuma/Houska), Hungary (Regos/Szep), China (Shuhuan Li & Linbin Zhang) and France (Jean-Baptiste Mourcia & Ugo Fleurot) were all within 25sec of the leaders.

A titanic tussle ensued with Hungary (Regos/Szep) again showing their hard-running pedigree, clocking a blistering time of 11:19.70. But even that wasn’t enough to reel in the Egyptians (Mohamed/Ahmed) who held on in a sprint finish for a time of 11:27.70 with Korea (Seo/Lee) crossing in third just behind Hungary (Regos/Szep). 

Watch and follow

The UIPM 2023 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships can be watched live on UIPM TV, where annual subscriptions cost €14.99. All results are available on the UIPM website and via the UIPM Central app.

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The UIPM 2023 Pentathlon World Championships runs from August 22-28, based on the following schedule (UIPM TV live coverage times in Central European Summer Time).

  • Wednesday, August 23 | Women’s Qualification
  • Thursday, August 24 | Men’s Qualification | Women’s Fencing Ranking Round
  • Friday, August 25 | Women’s Semi-final A (11.30am); Semi-final B (4pm) | Men’s Fencing Ranking Round
  • Saturday, August 26 | Men’s Semi-final A (11.30am); Semi-final B (4pm)
  • Sunday, August 27 | Women’s Final (11.15am) | Men’s Final (4.15pm)
  • Monday, August 28 | Mixed Relay (2.15pm)

The UIPM 2023 Laser Run World Championships took place from August 19-21. Click here to read reports.

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